Salt water chlorinator what is it and its pros and cons
So what exactly is a salt water chlorinator? Well, in simple terms, a salt water chlorinator like the Solaxx CLG10A is basically a device that makes use of normal table salt (sodium chloride) in order to produce chlorine for your pool. That chlorine then works to clean up the pool and keep the water healthy for you and your family whenever you decide to take a swim.
Chlorine is an essential ingredient in any home pool as it’s vital for killing bacteria, eliminating algae, and preventing any nasty microbes from reproducing in your water. In general, pool owners can use liquid chlorine or chlorine tablets to keep the chlorine levels of their pools up, but a salt water chlorinator is able to do the same basic job in a more eco-friendly and human-friendly way. Here are some of the advantages:
- Minimal Maintenance – One of the best things about these systems is that they can run with minimal maintenance required. All you need to do is keep the salt topped up and the device does the rest.
- Affordable – Even though you might need to spend a little on the system itself and then potentially pay a professional to install it, the running and long-term costs of these devices make them highly affordable, as you only need to pay for basic table salt to keep them running.
- Better for You – Nobody wants to swim around in water that stinks of chlorine and makes their eyes red and itchy. Salt water systems don’t contain any harsh or toxic chemicals, making them much safer for you to use.
- Eco-Friendly – Since these systems don’t contain any toxic chemicals, they’re much nicer for the environment too and there’s no risk of any dangerous run-off getting into your yard or the surrounding area.
Features to consider when buying salt water chlorinator
Now that you’ve seen some of the top advantages of salt water chlorinators and read through our best salt water chlorinator reviews, you might be considering ordering one for yourself. However, before you dive right in and order the first system you can find, it’s worth taking some time to consider various features and aspects of these systems. Your type of pool and pool capacity can play a big part in deciding which chlorinator you should buy. You also need to think about the CL power rating and salinity range of each system, as well as the warranty and any extra features that might enhance the usage of your system like a self-cleaning mode or automatic shutdown. Read on to learn more.
One of the first things to think about is what kind of pool you have, as the salt water chlorinator you buy might be better-suited to one pool type or another. The Intex Krystal Clear, for example, is one of the best salt water chlorinator for above ground pools you can buy right now. If you have an in-ground pool, you may need to consider a different option.
You also need to ask yourself, “How big is my pool?” before buying a salt water chlorinator. They all usually come with recommended pool capacities, and some are able to clean much larger pools than others. The CircuPool Universal 40, for example, is one of the best salt water chlorinator system options out there for very large pools of up to 45,000 gallons, whereas some of the other recommended devices on our list are tailor-made for smaller or mid-sized pools.
If you’re not sure of the capacity of your pool, simply multiply the length, width, and depth together and then multiply the final number by 7.5.
CL Power refers to ‘chlorine power’, which tells us how much chlorine is produced by the device each day. The amount of chlorine your pool needs depends on its size and other factors, but in general, pool owners like to keep the chlorine levels low. Chlorine is needed to kill bacteria and prevent the build-up of algae, but it can also cause a lot of irritation to the eyes, as well as dryness of the skin and can even change the color of your swimsuits or pool liners, so you definitely want to avoid having too much of it. A good option here is the Hayward W3AQ-TROL-RJ, which has a CL power rating of 0.9 lbs/day, which is more than enough to keep the pool water clean without leading to any nasty odors or undesired effects.
The salinity range of the pool basically tells you how salty the water is as a result of the salt water chlorinator. This is measured in ppm or parts per million. The higher the rating, the saltier the water will be. Again, just like with CL power, pool owners generally prefer when this rating is lower, as it means that the water won’t have that salty taste or irritate your eyes while you swim. The Solaxx CLG10A is a good choice here, with a salinity level of just 3,000 ppm.
Don’t forget to think about the warranty as well! Even though salt water chlorinators are built to last, they can suffer faults and failures from time to time, and it always helps to have a strong warranty policy to keep you covered in case any unforeseen issues start to develop. If your device encounters a problem, the manufacturer will be able to cover the repair or replacement costs, as long as the warranty is still valid. A lot of pool chlorinators come with just 1-year warranties, but the CircuPool Universal 40 features a very impressive 4-year limited warranty.
Finally, it’s important to not forget about the importance of those extra features and add-ons that come along with some salt water pool chlorinators. These bonus features might seem small at first but can actually make a really big difference in use, and some of the best salt water pool chlorinator options out there feature a range of extra features to set them apart from the competition.
The Pentair 520555 IntelliChlor IC40, for example, features a digital display to provide the user with lots of information about the device’s functions, a boost mode for those moments when you need to give your pool a deeper clean and produce a little extra chlorine, and even a self-cleaning function to keep the device clean without the need for manual maintenance.
Hayward W3AQ-TROL-RJ is another terrific option for those who crave some extra features and functionality. It comes with a 24-hour timer for automated cleaning, a super-chlorinate function whenever you want to give the pool a more thorough clean or raise the chlorine levels quickly, and a digital salt display with several indicator lights that tell you all you need to know about what the system is doing and if it requires any maintenance.
Salt water chlorinator installation and maintenance tips
One of the main advantages of a salt water chlorinator system over the alternatives out there is how easy these devices tend to be to install. In most cases, as long as you have a little bit of experience with DIY and feel comfortable with the project, you can install them on your own.
Devices like the Solaxx CLG10A, for example, require no plumbing at all during the installation process. However, if you do want to call in the help of a professional, the installation should take less than an hour with most salt water chlorinators, so you won’t have to pay a high price for the process.
As for maintenance, here’s all you need to know:
- Check over the salt water chlorinator regularly to spot any issues before they develop.
- If your system has a digital display like the Pentair 520555 IntelliChlor IC40, check it regularly for any alerts or problems.
- Keep the levels of salt topped up to the recommended amounts to ensure that the salt water chlorinator can function effectively at all times.
- Consider a self-cleaning device like the Solaxx CLG10A if you want to reduce the amount of maintenance required for your salt water chlorinator.
- Read through the instruction manual with your chlorinator and follow the guidelines from the manufacturer to keep it running smoothly.
That’s it! One of the best parts about salt water chlorinators is that they really don’t tend to require much maintenance at all, so you can sit back, relax, and let the systems do their job without needing to get involved.